Numbers don’t lie.
Remember that when considering Hotshot as the NBA2KLeague’s Most Valuable Player this week, as voting is currently open to select the league’s best player of the inaugural season and runs through Saturday at 7:00 PM ET (following the last of the remaining regular season games).
The hometown hero has lifted HEAT Check Gaming to a 7-4 record, averaging 27.8 PPG throughout regular season and tournament play. That number rises to 30.3 PPG when factoring only regular season matchups, and skyrockets to a stifling 41.5 PPG during HCG’s four-game win streak (during which he had back-to-back 50-point games).
— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) August 7, 2018
When asked what he thinks of Hotshot’s chances of earning the league’s top individual award, Jalen03303 didn’t mince words.
“It gives our team recognition, I’m glad he’s on our team,” he said. “[Hotshot]’s a guy you can go to for a bucket. I’m praying that he wins it because he deserves it.”
Jalen03303 hit the mark with his assessment of Hotshot’s season so far – when it comes to going to a player when you need a guaranteed bucket, the MVP candidate’s numbers have been impressive.
Factoring tournament play and regular season games, Hotshot has converted 67.5% of his shots (206-of-305). That number rises to 68.4% (143-of-209) when calculating his impact over just regular season matches, and jumps to 74.2% (72-of-97) over the four-game win streak.
HCG head coach/GM Famous Enough knew exactly what he was doing when he drafted Hotshot with the seventh overall pick in the NBA2KLeague Draft. With the exception of Pistons GT’s Lets Get It Ramo, Blazer5 Gaming’s OneWildWalnut, and Celtics Crossover Gaming’s oFAB, everyone selected ahead of the #7 pick has been eliminated from playoff contention.
— HEAT Check Gaming (@HeatCheckGaming) August 7, 2018
“When I was going through my draft process leading up to how we were going to put this team together, I said the number one pick has to be somebody you can get the ball to for a guaranteed bucket,” Famous Enough said. “Hotshot has proven he can do that. For me, I don’t think there’s anybody on that list who can do what Hotshot is doing.”
Focusing in on the last four games of the season really magnifies how much of an impact Hotshot has had on facilitating ball movement as well – he improved that element of his game, averaging eight assists over the streak which helped the team average 82 PPG, including back-to-back team-highs of 86 points against 76ers GC and 95 points against Wizards District Gaming.
“You know what’s funny is that the first time we first practiced, this guy couldn’t even pass at all. His mindset was that if he got the ball he’s going up no matter what,” said the HCG head coach/GM about how his MVP candidate has grown from what he once was at the start of the season to what he’s become now.
“I think as a team we see his growth as a player, but nobody else sees that growth because they’re not with him every day, practicing with him every day. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the MVP in my book. I know what this guy’s done and I’ll always go up to bat for him.”
Read below to catch up on Hotshot’s top five performances of the regular season.
#5 – (6/23) Knicks Gaming 74, HEAT Check Gaming 75: Hotshot led all scorers this game with 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field to go with nine rebounds and six assists as HCG fought hard to the very end and earned a season-altering win. He played at the four this game using the rebounding athletic finisher archetype, and he certainly carved up Knicks Gaming’s interior defense, drawing multiple and-1’s on his way to some thunderous dunks.
#4 – (7/6) HEAT Check Gaming 68, Celtics Crossover Gaming 65: Hotshot led the squad with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting against CCG and nearly converted a triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists. This game was the first time all season he played the three as a shot-creating slasher archetype, and he attacked the rim and created for others as a result.
#3 – (6/30) HEAT Check Gaming 80, Jazz Gaming 54: Jazz Gaming’s Tifeworld was playing with fire when, during a pre-game interview, he looked directly at Hotshot and called him a “One Man Army”.
The rest of the squad didn’t like that one bit.
While Majes7ic, 24k Dropoff and SharpShooterLos all scored in double-figures, Hotshot dropped his third-highest scoring output of the season with a game-high 36 points on 14-of-21 shooting while pulling down a season-best 14 rebounds to go with eight assists – another near triple-double effort. Back at the four-spot with the rebounding athletic finisher archetype, the MVP candidate bullied his opponents all game long.
#2 – (7/28) Wizards District Gaming 77, HEAT Check Gaming 95: After losing two mid-season tournament matches to WDG, HCG’s first-round pick was laser-focused on making sure this one wouldn’t get away from him, and oh did he deliver.
“This one was personal,” Hotshot said, who played the shot-creating slasher archetype once more on his way to a blistering 51-point, 10-assist performance. “it felt good to beat them. They were talking a lot after the two wins. I’m just happy we got one back.”
In addition to the season-high assist mark for the MVP candidate, he made 14 straight buckets before his first miss on a mid-range jumper in the third quarter.
This victory helped catapult HCG to fourth in the overall NBA2K League standings, their highest mark of the season.
#1 – (7/20) HEAT Check Gaming 86, 76ers GC 71: Hotshot was so locked in to this match against 76ers GC, Famous Enough predicted his MVP candidate’s historic performance midway through the third quarter.
“He’s going to score 50,” said HCG’s head coach/GM.
Hotshot in fact scored a record-breaking 54 points on 25-of-34 shooting from the field to go with six assists and five rebounds without committing a single turnover. Using the shot-creating slasher archetype, he sliced up the 76ers GC defense by finding open teammates on the perimeter, banishing his defenders to the shadow realm with crossover after crossover, and dunks – lots of dunks.
Make sure to cast your vote for Hotshot by tagging @Hotshotx305 across all social platforms and using the hashtag #NBA2KLeagueMVP.
Don’t miss Thursday’s match against Kings Guard Gaming at 8:00 PM ET and Saturday’s matches against Raptors Uprising GC at 11:00 AM and Grizz Gaming at 4:00 PM ET on twitch.tv/HEATCheckGaming.